Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teen drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to my teenaged daughter, my cooking comes in at a close second. I am getting better, though I still burn Jello.

My bad cooking may be here to stay. But teen motor vehicle crashes are avoidable. There are proven policies to improve the safety of young drivers on the road. Factors that contribute to teen crashes and injuries include driver inexperience, driving with teen passengers, distractions, nighttime driving, not wearing seat belts and even drinking alcohol and driving. Just cutting out distractions, limiting night driving, monitoring passengers in the car and not calling or text messaging your teen while you know they are driving would help tremendously.

Among all age groups, teen drivers are at the greatest risk for accidents. Per mile driven, teen drivers are four times more likely than adult drivers to crash. Funny, it’s usually teens that make snide comments about older drivers. In fact, crash rates are highest during the first year of driving. And that crash risk goes up when teens drive with other teens in the car. In Texas, teens have restrictions on their license. One being that they cannot have more than one family member under the age of 21 in the car with them when they are driving. I suppose they just want you to kill one friend at a time, not all of them at once. Awesome idea, since we used to cram as many kids in the car as we could and just pack them in like sardines. This all plays into distracted driving, which is a huge contributing factor. That’s why, in some states like Texas, teen drivers also cannot talk on a cell phone or text while driving. There is also a curfew restriction for new drivers.

My teen just got her driver license a few months ago. So I have found many helpful websites that address teen driving tips. At you’ll find hundreds of safe driving and defensive driving tips from buying a car to driving in traffic, driving around school, and even tips on parallel parking. We used to call that parallel “chicken” when I was a teen.

Just keeping your teen drivers out of harm’s way isn’t the only issue here. The high cost of automobile insurance for a young driver is also an issue for most parents. Keeping a clean driving record will insure that your insurance premium doesn’t skyrocket. And who wants to spend a bunch of extra money on insurance when you have better things to spend your money on…like Jack Daniels.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Comedienne / Writer / Artist

Teen Drivers – Comedy Defensive Driving